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HOTREC: Hospitality Should be Cornerstone of EU Sustainable Tourism Development

European Commissioner for Single Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska, HOTREC President Jens Zimmer Christensen and MEP Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar. Photo Source: @HOTREC

HOTREC, the European umbrella association of hotels, restaurants and cafés, tabled in European Parliament on Tuesday, its White Paper for Hospitality in Europe, with proposals covering five key areas for the 2019-2024 period.

HOTREC invited European institutions to work together towards an innovative and sustainable tourism sector through the implementation of five key priorities as laid out in its White Paper which include: further leveling the playing field in the accommodation and food service market in light of the fast professionalisation of providers using ‘collaborative’ economy platforms; revising the EU regulatory framework regulating online platforms’ liability to reflect their increased role on the markets, namely the E-commerce directive; improving the regulation agenda which ensures the EU focuses more on large cross-border issues and better takes into account sectoral specific concerns; fostering voluntary initiatives on nutrition for local food services instead of horizontal EU legislation.

Representing Greece in Brussels, was HOTREC executive committee member Alexandros Vassilikos.

“Based on the White Paper listing the industry’s five strategic priorities which we had the honor of officially presenting for the first time at an HCH event in Athens, we are fighting to keep the hospitality economy at the frontline of growth, development and the employment for 12 million employees in Europe,” said Vassilikos, who is also the president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH).

Alexandros Vassilikos

Referring to the importance of the tourism sector for Europe as a leading job creator as well as a means of promoting a mutual understanding within the EU, MEP Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, who hosted the event and is also vice president of SME Europe, said: “That is why I am committed to keep working for the development of a sustainable and innovative tourism sector and I am looking forward to renew my partnership with HOTREC.”

EU Commissioner responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs Elżbieta Bieńkowska also offered her support adding that “we look forward to continue working together with our partners in HOTREC to address the challenges facing European tourism and ensure its sustainable and balanced development in the future”.

“With 11,9 million workers and 1,6 million new jobs created in four years, the hospitality industry is a driving force for the EU economy. Our White Paper proposes recommendations to EU policymakers to foster the industry’s jobs, growth and innovation potential and make the hospitality sector the cornerstone of sustainable tourism development in Europe,” said HOTREC President Jens Zimmer Christensen.

HOTREC represents over 2 million businesses – 90 percent of which are micro enterprises – active in the European hotel, restaurant, bar and café industries in 30 countries.

The HCH is a member of HOTREC.

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